Apologies for Absence - Clara Sprague had sent notification, during the April meeting, that she was unable to attend. Matt Blazicevich, Eileen Baker and Kerry Evans had sent apologies for absence, prior to the May meeting.
At the March Board of Regents meeting, classified staff organizations across the state were invited to give input into three draft proposals affecting philosophies and objectives for compensation, generally, and Board of Regents professional contracts, specifically. At that time, drafting was still under way, and CEPAC has recently received the documents now published on the Regents' web site (http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/CompPhilosophyFNLDraft04-05.htm; http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/ITEM126-109-R0305FNL.pdf; and http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/ITEM126-108-R0305FNL.pdf).
During last month's visit to campus, Commissioner Stearns gave CEPAC some background on the creation of these draft documents. From this, we understand that there are no current guidelines providing equity in granting Board of Regents contracts, or handling requests for pay raises etc for professional staff and so, without guidelines at any stage of the process, campus CEOs submit requests of this type, the Commissioner makes recommendations, and the Regents grant or reject the proposals. You will see that these draft documents stress the importance of equity in rewarding like jobs and duties.
CEPAC is most grateful to the Commissioner's Office and President Gamble for drawing these drafts to our attention, and for the efforts already made to incorporate employee and administration feedback and concerns. CEPAC considers classified input to be extremely important and appropriate as classified positions may be impacted in a variety of ways. CEPAC has consulted briefly with Professional Council, and President Gamble, and will be providing formal input on Monday. This matter is on the agenda for the Board of Regents' Staff and Compensation Committee meeting on May 18. If you have any comment for CEPAC in this regard, please let us know by Friday, May 13.
CEPAC members discussed the documents, and the principles of the policies, in some detail. It was agreed that policy creation is necessary, and CEPAC members supported the philosophy behind the drafts. However, the members felt they had not had time to adequately conclude what impact these policies, as written, would have on existing and/or future Board of Regents contract or classified positions. The issue was deemed important, and CEPAC input appropriate. Sara France was asked to draft a response to the Commissioner's Office, bearing in mind any constituent feedback which might be offered, for transmission on Monday.
Paperwork, policy and procedure etc, for the new performance evaluation system is being created, and will likely be available in the Fall. CEPAC members wishing to offer input into the process should do so via Susan or Sara France. Once crated, appropriate guidance for use of the new policy will be provided, and first year, short-notice deadlines for paperwork submission will be avoided. Meanwhile, employees and supervisors should being to open discussion for the FY06 evaluation year, and document the outcome when the system is established. In keeping with pre-existing campus policy and negotiated contracts, all classified staff (whether or not previously MAP-covered) will be included in performance evaluation procedures. Performance evaluation will play a part in establishing eligibility for flexible pay options, etc for employees covered by the MUS Staff Compensation Program.
With the advent of these negotiated amendments in performance evaluation, and the MUS Staff Compensation Program, the future of the MAP Advisory Committee is being reviewed. MPEA negotiations also call for reorganization of the charge and purpose of Labor Management Committees within the Montana University System, and this is under way.
A lengthy discussion was held, with emphasis on the eradication of achievement pay - including the "surprise" (CEPAC wasn't aware of the possibility until it happened); its former relationship to the performance evaluation process; the absence of achievement pay in the new process; recognition that some employees valued even .5%; and acknowledgement that funding of achievement pay was unstable and, at best, inadequate. Carol Shannon asked whether union exempt staff could retain the MAP program system of performance evaluation and achievement pay. Susan thought it unlikely in the coming biennium but that it could possibly be revisited in the future.
Benefits Committee - Carol Shannon drew attention to her recent report.
Committee Rep term ends - Sara France reminded CEPAC that several committee reps' terms are ending and that she has commenced the process for their replacement. She suggested that the "bulletin" distribution might be a good vehicle through which to recruit.
At 11.10 am, there being no further available time, the meeting adjourned.
NEXT MEETING: JUNE 8, 2005 IN THE BRADLEY CONFERENCE ROOM, WILSON HALL AT 9:00AM
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